Hello. I’m back.
I know, last week I said that I wouldn’t be back. Weekend Predictions usually closes at the end of the college football regular season.
But I wasn’t thinking clearly, possibly the result of esophageal spasms, which should clear up in about 12 months when I get 39 phone calls from athletic directors and NFL owners offering me head coaching jobs, by which time I will have seen enough of my daughter’s volleyball games, and will have memorized every aisle at Publix, and what time Judge Judy comes on TV, and I’ll say yes to all 39 jobs because I’m Urban Meyer and I’m going stir crazy!
Thank you for making it the fourth paragraph. Here’s you reward: You can win an iPad.
No. I’m serious. You can win an iPad.
You don’t even have to send me your social security number and your bank routing and checking account numbers to my P.O. Box in Botswana, authorizing me to release 250 gold bullion bars to you. You can win an iPad. See, that’s three times I wrote that, so it must be true.
The AJC’s Sack Schultz contest was such an overwhelming success, notwithstanding that I finished in 108th place, or maybe because I finished in 108th place, that we are having a special bowl edition of the contest. It’s called the, “You Can Not Only Sack Schultz But You Also Can Win An iPad Because It Was Either That Or Give Him A Christmas Bonus And Haha That Just Ain’t Happening Contest.” (Actually, that’s not the official name, but I’ve suggested it to editors.)
During the college football season, we asked you to pick winners for 15 games every week. Our two winners received two tickets to the Georgia-Georgia Tech game and an HDTV.
The new contest works like this: Pick every winner to every bowl game. There are 35 games. The 30 bowls that most don’t care about are worth one point each. The five BCS bowls — Sugar, Orange, Rose, Fiesta and the BCS national championship game – are worth six points each.
The one with the most points wins the iPad.
As always, select AJC employees are eligible and the contest is fixed. No, kidding. (But if anybody asks, my name is Joseph McGillicutty.)
Just go to ajc.com/go/sack-schultz for more details. You have until 15 minutes before each bowl game to make (or change) your prediction but be aware that games start Dec. 18.
And now, to this week’s blue chip indicators:
*** Thursday Internet Only Special ***
Colts at Titans: Signs of the apocalypse: Peyton Manning has thrown 11 interceptions in the last three weeks, four returned for touchdowns. Meanwhile, Vince Young has opened a new steakhouse in Austin. I believe they serve bull. Colts cover 3.
To hold you over until bowls: The Cincinnati Bearcats’ mascot gets arrested:
This Week’s A La Carte Menu
Georgia: Off until the Liberty Bowl. Party at the Richts, complete with Urban Meyer Pinata.
Falcons at Panthers: Matt Ryan had one of the worst starts of his career last week and the Falcons won anyway. If he played for Carolina, he could’ve just blended into the scenery. Four Panthers quarterbacks have combined for seven touchdowns, 18 interceptions and 36 sacks, give or take an exploding head. This week’s Panthers promotion: If you buy a ticket, you can play. Falcons cover 7.
N.Y. Giants at Vikings: Brett Favre is questionable with a sore shoulder. Actually, he’s become such a non-factor that Jenn Sterger gave him her new cell number and asked him to give it to Tarvaris Jackson. Giants cover 2.
Packers at Lions: I think I’ve figured out Roger Goodell’s strategy in CBA talks. He’s going to break the union by bleeding every player dry with nonsensical fines. Ndamukong Suh was fined $15,000 for basically pushing down Chicago quarterback Jay Cutler. First of all, the play wasn’t worthy of a penalty, let alone a fine. Second of all, Bears fans wanted to do far worst to Cutler in the past then push him down, unless we’re talking about a cliff. Packers covers 6½.
The latest from the NFL’s Keystone Kops
Maybe these guys should be in charge instead
Eagles at Cowboys: Michael Vick, whom Philly would’ve traded for a tray of pansies back in March, leads Pro Bowl voting. Meanwhile, one Dallas writer optimistically pointed out this week that the 4-8 Cowboys are not mathematically out of the postseason race. True. An upset over Philly enables Dallas to knock UTEP out of the New Mexico Bowl. Eagles cover 3½.
Broncos at Cardinals: So much for the Bill Belichick coaching tree. Josh McDaniels (fail), Romeo Crennel (fail), Charlie Weis (fail), Eric Mangini (one good year, since failed), Nick Saban (fa … ah, dang it! I was on a roll.). This will ease pain: Denver covers 5½ on the road.
Dolphins at Jets: Rex Ryan didn’t take up too much space on the flight home from New England. The Jets just swept up his ashes and stuck him in the overhead. Jets win but take Miami and 5½.
Patriots at Bears: Jay Cutler’s problem has always been that he thinks he’s Tom Brady. This will be evidence to the contrary. Patriots cover 3.
“The race is not always to the swift nor the battle to the strong, but that’s the way to bet.” – Damon Runyon (via Ecclesiastes, who I think also was a sportswriter)
Last week (you will bow to me now): 9-0 straight up, 7-2 against the line
Financial overview: 120-38 straight up, 84-71-3 against the line.
– By Jeff Schultz